Tonight’s TV: Monopoly!

Primetime Pilot Panic: Even Hotter Info

To date my April 24th “Hot List” of primetime pilots is holding up. But one alarming trend I’m seeing is that Big Media is demonstrating even more reluctance than usual to develop pilots their studios and networks don’t own. This is yet one more reason so many primetime scripted series fail.

Emphasis added by me.

Stephen J. Cannell saw the handwriting on the wall over a decade ago. He was one of the next generation of TV producers (after Aaron Spelling, Quinn Martin, Jack Webb, etc) and had a string of successes. He had every reason to remain in television: it provided him with a great life and allowed him to do what he liked and what he was great at doing.

All that changed when the walls came down, allowing the TV networks to own their programs instead of having to negotiate with outside producers for airing rights.

This is one of the reasons independent producers such as Gerry Anderson and his thirty-million dollar New Captain Scarlet series failed to enter the American television market in the same manner his string of prior successes over three decades could.

The game has become: If it ain’t mine, forget it!

This is not a free market. This is a collection of monopolies and trusts holding the airwaves — first analog, and now digital — captive to the detriment of everyone, producers and audience.

Imagine if suddenly your website or blog had to be part of a large conglomerate so you could remain on the Internet. Imagine that the costs became so prohibitive to create a web presence that you had no choice other than to seek employment at a large corporation in order to have a web outlet. And then, just like all other employees, you’d be a cog in a huge machine and no one would know who the hell you are.

Quick: Name three writers from Engadget, from Gizmodo, from Ars Technica.

You can’t.

And that is the future the corporations want.

You don’t matter: only the corporate brand matters.

And all profits — every single strange fraction of a penny — is vacuumed up for the “good” of that inhuman entity.

You are just an employee. You can be replaced. Especially because you’re unknown.

Quick: Name the producers of Numb3rs, Ugly Betty, and E.R..

You can’t!

ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC are the Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Arby’s, and Burger King of entertainment. Just as those fast-food mongers have only a shadow relationship to actual food, so do the four major TV entities have an increasingly-distant relationship to creative, unique, compelling, and individually-crafted entertainment. (If you think otherwise, they’ve already subverted your mind to their purposes!)

Nikki Finke is the brightest person covering the entertainment field. What’s happening there is just a prelude to what they expect to do to the Internet. Watch what’s going on with Comcast and Time Warner and the rumors of tiered Internet service. Watch the battle for Net Neutrality being waged in D.C.. They are trying for a grab. They are always trying for a grab.

They succeeded with television.

Are we going to let them steal the Internet too?

Explore posts in the same categories: C.O.A.T. - TV, TV

One Comment on “Tonight’s TV: Monopoly!”


  1. […] Quote: Matt Fraction Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED! MammothMedia Loses Another Pair Of Balls Tonight’s TV: Monopoly! You CAN Fight And WIN! Writers: Laugh Last, Laugh […]


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